Over the last few years, I've been relying on either a work-supplied laptop for my design projects or a cheap, under-powered pre-built PC for my gaming. Thankfully, a fantastic job upgrade early this year meant that I could finally splurge the way I've wanted to... and splurge I did.
I wanted to go big - professionally I run a lot of 3dsmax and Mudbox, as well as the requisite Adobe Creative Suite apps, so I wanted a fast i7 with gobs of RAM. Game-wise, I wanted to play Witcher 3 and other demanding titles on Ultra and still hit a consistent 60+ fps - hence the dual 980 Ti's.
This also meant big SSDs - the Samsung 850 Pro for Windows and my core work applications, and the Seagate 600 I had laying around for my main games drive. The two Western Digital drives are my storage drives for current big projects, media, other games, and errata.
Right now, I couldn't be happier - everything fit beautifully in the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe case, though I did have to create a little push/pull with two extra Phanteks 120mm fans to get the 980 Ti Hybrids to attach in the front like I wanted. This also meant that my two mechanical drives had to go into the 5.25 drive bay slots under the Blu Ray/DVD drive; I had to remove the standard HDD carriages from the Phanteks to get all the radiators and fans in.
Overall, it was a fairly painless process - having been away from custom PC building for a few years, I was pleasantly surprised at how slick so much of the process has become. So far, everything's running great and I hope to enjoy this build for years to come.
For me, the i7-5930k sits right at the sweet spot of Haswell-E processors - it's got the 40 PCI-E lanes for the SLI plus the higher base clock speed, with only the loss of the 2 cores from the much pricier 5960k. A great processor all around.
The NZXT Kraken X61 is a fantastic cooler - easy to assemble, remarkably powerful, and quiet (if you want it to be). So why not 5 stars? Honestly - NZXT's documentation and packaging leaves a lot to be desired. This is a premium product; it deserves a lot more than a flimsy cardboard holder and a poorly-printed instruction sheet. Thankfully, the online instructions are much better and the CAM software is working beautifully for me.
When Asus says Deluxe, they meant it. Everything about this motherboard screams quality - easy to work with, tons of features, excellent documentation. I may never use half of what this mobo can do, but I'm glad I have it.
Amazing cards - everyone knows how great the 980 Ti is, and EVGA slapped these fantastic AIO loops on them to keep them extra cool and stable. The packaging and documentation is premium all the way - EVGA knows they've got a good thing here. Two of these in SLI is blowing through every game I've tried so far at the highest settings I can manage with insane fps. The only issue is getting a good case set-up worked out for the 120mm radiator/fan mounts.
The Phanteks Enthoo Luxe is a beautiful case - big, solid, tons of extras and easy cable management. There's plenty of flexibility in building & mounting, which made it a perfect choice for getting in the 980 Ti Hybrids in SLI mounted cleanly and keeping good air flow. Absolutely a joy to work with and look at once it's finished.
I'm always willing to pay a extra for premium quality. SeaSonic's 1200W Platinum is definitely that - wonderfully built, great packaging and documentation, tons of extras. The nicest PSU I've ever had by miles.